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New Year’s Resolutions Feel Impossible, but Fuck It These Nail Polishes Are Not

As of today, we are officially one week into the New Year. And the overwhelming sentiment seems to correctly be Fuck New Year’s Resolutions. Last year was hard. The year before was hard. If you are surviving at all, you’re already thriving — and by thriving there’s a 78.7% chance that I mean you cried this morning and also forgot to have lunch. And that’s ok! Do you want to know what I have gotten very into this week? Googling 2022 nail polish trends.

Why? Who knows!! I probably only paint my nails a few times a year (I hate getting chips), but something feels accomplishable, nay I say it, meditative about sitting for 12 minutes in absolute silence and just… painting your nails. No deadlines. No doom filled news. No worries about money or illness or anything that’s not simply painting your fucking nails. What if, instead of adding more pressure to be always be Better during a time that is already patently The Worsttm we just stared out of a window with empty heads and freshly painted nails?

(Alternatively I should have named this post lazy femme queer manifestation flagging, but I didn’t think that alphabet soup would get picked up by Google.)


Did You Want to Be More at Peace? Try Periwinkle

Supposedly periwinkle is the color of 2022 according to people who study colors. I know very little about that, but doesn’t looking at it just wash peace right over you? It’s like a cool pond in a quiet forest with a perfect breeze. Imagine looking at this color on your hands instead of screaming into void. You know you like it.

Three different skin tones where periwinkle nail polish from Plant Power vegan nails

Buy It: Plant Power Nails in Soul Surfing — $10.99 

Periwinkle nail polish from Sally Hansen

Buy it: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Crying Out Cloud — $10

Are You Looking to Kick Insomnia’s Ass? What About Navy Blue?

If you are me, then you are not sleeping. First I’d recommend this guide I wrote about sleeping in 2019 — but those are a lot of steps to follow! And we are what? E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D, so instead look at the navy blue and pretend it’s a starry night sky. Will you feel more refreshed? No! But it’s pretty.

A black hand showcases navy blue nail polish from olve & jade

Muted navy blue nail polish from Olive & June

Buy it: Olive & June in OMG — $7.99 

Shimmery navy blue nail polish from OPI

Buy it: OPI in Abstract After Dark — $7.99 

More Exercise? Going Outside and Offline? Green! Green! GREEN!

Are you just constantly refreshing your FYP or your Instagram feed? Do you need fresh air? Are your bones creeking from constantly sitting at a desk/on a chair/not moving?

Do bodies benefit from exercise, both for physical and emotional health? Yes, yes they do. And you should probably do that. But in the meantime, have you considered… green nail polish? It’s like the outside, but it’s on your fingers. And no one had to sweat. (I hate sweat.)

A brown hand models dark green nail polish from Essie

Buy it: Essie in Off Tropic — $8.99

A variety of skin tones holding sage green nail polish from Essie

Buy it: Essie in Beleaf in Yourself — $8.99 

A light yellow-mint green nail polish from People of Color nail polish

Buy it: People of Color Nail Polish in Drinks on Me —  $12 

Looking for Balance Amid a Stressful Schedule? Neutrals

Congratulations, you are ACTUALLY getting shit done two years into this pandemic! I believe in you! You have an overflowing Google calendar and a paper planner that’s already filled to the seams even though it’s only January. Maybe you have living, breathing things that depend on you (kids, dogs, plants) so you can’t stop now. Maybe you’re just a person with that fire in their belly to keep pushing forward.

Either way, you don’t have time for chipped nails — be real, you don’t have time for this article — and so, for you, I gift: NEUTRALS!

A dark brown hand holding nail polish matching its skin tone

Buy it: People of Color Nail Polish in Brown Sugar Babe — $12 

Brown hand holding matching nail polish from Essie

Buy it: Essie in Cliff Hanger — $9

Olive and June nail polish in a creamy light nude pink

Buy it: Olive & June in CCT – $8 

Being Your Best Gay Self? It’s Gotta Be All Black, Baby

Nothing says I’m gay like black nail polish. It’s a classic for a reason.  

Three hands of different skin tones model the same Black nail polish from Essie

Essie nail polise express in black

Buy it: Essie Quick Dry in Now or Never — $8.99

A white hand showcases OPI's Black Nail Polish

OPI black nail polish

Buy it: OPI in Black Onyx — $10.79 

And Finally… Fuck Me Red.

Do I even have to say it?

If your New Year’s Resolution is to date, get on them apps, fall in love, put yourself out there, great. If it’s to positively have your back blown out like it’s never been before, I am also here to support you.

Let’s go.
A deep blue red nail polish by Chanel

Buy it: Chanel in Pirate — $30

Blue red nail polish from Essie

Buy it: Essie in Forever Yummy — $8.99


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Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 409 articles for us.

23 Comments

  1. “be real, you don’t have time for this article” – I feel so seen.

    Also, my 23 yo nephew (who’s lowkey pinged my queer-dar for a few years) showed up to Christmas with black nail polish and now his grandparents / my parents-in-law are convinced that he’s gay. And I thought they were making a pretty big leap based on some nail polish, but maybe they weren’t.

  2. Ooh

    I experienced a brief and random nailpolish mania a few years back after not wearing it for like.. 15 years, and went out and bought two dozen of the weirdest colours I could find to put on my short nails, and then it fizzled out because it was all too much work to keep it in decent condition. But that matte black void bottle is calling my name 🖤

  3. nail polish became my obsession during quarantine. I hadn’t worn nail polish in years, and then suddenly I got on the ‘holographic’ nail polish craze, and from then on… I now own something like 40 nail polishes? I ask for them for birthdays, holidays. I got really into indie brands (cirque colors and ilnp, specifically), so half the joy is picking out the colors online then getting to open the adorable packages.

    I am far from feeling like a femme, so it is inexplicable to me (and I honestly feel pretty self-conscious about it when I’m around anyone that’s not my partner, who has lovingly come to appropriately ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ over my purchases), but I can honestly say it is one of the very few things I do totally for myself — for the sheer, inexplicable joy that looking down to shiny, glittery, rainbow nails in the sunshine gives me. 10/10 would recommend. I paint them at least once a week (if not twice), and have so far always pretty willingly sacrificed the time it takes for the pleasure of the finished product.

    apologies for this super long comment, but in short, loved seeing this post, love nail polish, thank you!

    • Alierose, yes, I don’t think of it as a femme thing either, it’s a little bit to flag being queer (although less so in the pandemic because who sees me who doesn’t already know?) and mostly because COLORS IN SUNSHINE YES PLEASE MORE OF THAT. Depression-brain needs color like I need oxygen, even when I’m doing reasonably well.

        • nail polish being queer is the soul-soothing take I didn’t know I needed, thank you both! absolutely adopting that.

          also don’t know why I went for ‘inexplicable’ when the goodness of it is now so clear to me! 1 part what Carmen said (smooth-brain soothing ritual) and 1 part what larrann said (colors = joy). :)

  4. Ahem. Left pinkie to right pinkie (all the glittery kind not matte): pink with a blue sheen; dark blue with a hint of purple; rose gold; turquoise; yellow gold; dark forest green; pale/white gold; bright red; light blue with a pink sheen; copper.

    With glow-in-the-dark polish over it that’s invisible in light so I can be fabulously gay 24/7.

    That is all. :)

  5. I was feeling pretty lacquer-daisical at the top of this article, but then I saw the black matte AND THEN I saw the Chanel Red and my heart went Oh. Damn. Nail polish. I simply cannot abide my unadorned digits anymore.

    AND to top it off, Glow in the Dark nail polish ?? @iarrannme I’m quite enameled with the idea.

  6. This post inspired me to raid my partner’s collection and paint my nails. And my painted nails inspired my 17 year old to ask me to paint his. We both went with black with a gold accent (he chose his middle fingers for the gold 🙄). Thanks, Carmen, for the push for some queer self care and some quality family time.

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